First experiences of sailing…

When I was young, my dad had a dinghy made from expanded polystyrene. It was called a puffin pioneer, it had a glass fibre coating which was dark blue and had red and white sails with a puffin on. I don’t know any specifics but I do know it was not very big and similar to this one

We would go on holiday each year to Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall with this boat on the roof of my mums car. Dad had ‘customised’ the pioneer so that it could be turned upside down and pulled up the beach and car with a wheel positioned in the bow. Poor mum, dad would lift the boat onto the bonnet, then roll it up the windscreen and along the roof until it was in a suitable position to be strapped down. Sand and salt water dripping everywhere…

Honestly – it was a real head turner! Dad in his blue and white towelling dressing gown and straw hat sailing this boat. 
Being only about 10ft and a history of tipping my mum into the water it generally was only my dad that sailed it on the sea but I do remember some trips on Llangorse lake and the canal near where we lived in Brecon. Generally with no wind accompanied by the family dog and midges!(Here is my Aunty and sister on the beach in Carbis Bay.)(Dad, me and my friend on the polystyrene boat on Llangorse Lake.)(I could not resist this picture of Dad in his straw hat at St Ives, replace the coat with a blue and white dressing gown to get the normal image!)

I remember visiting my cousins in Falmouth and going for a sail, there were quite a few of us and I was down in the cabin, I remember feeling a little queasy! Here is a photo – I think I am the miserable looking child in the middle!!!

A lot later I can remember my uncle giving us his wooden hulled boat, this was a little bigger and I remember a trip to the Mumbles, me, Mum and Dad. We got there, the wind had picked up and the sea had got a little lumpy. After getting the boat in the water and it heeling over way too far with no more reefs to take in, we gave up on the mission and decided to go for coffee. I had a change of clothing, but guess who forgot? As we were absolutely soaked to the skin my lovely Dad had to wear a long mac with wet pants to the cafe, maybe mum and I should have been embarrassed but all we could do was fall about laughing at poor dad who was a shivering wreck and looked very dodgy!

To make a long story short, that boat is now the dark squares on my chessboard which my dad made for me.

 I love that chessboard, but can’t play chess! Definitely need someone to teach me! Any offers???